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February 2003 Unemployment Rates Announced |
Contact: Terry Ludeman, 608/267-3262
FEBRUARY UNEMPLOYMENT RATES ANNOUNCED
Madison – Wisconsin’s February seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 5.3 percent from 5.4 percent in January and from 5.7 percent in February 2002, according to figures released today by the Department of Workforce Development. The national seasonally adjusted rate for February was 5.8 percent compared to 5.7 percent in January.
"While there is evidence of improvement in the unemployment numbers, given unfolding national and international developments, Wisconsin, like the nation as a whole, continues to be cautious," said DWD Secretary Roberta Gassman.
February’s unadjusted unemployment rate was estimated at 6.4 percent, compared to 6.3 percent in January 2002 and 6.8 percent for February of 2002. In a normal year, Wisconsin’s February unadjusted rate is the highest monthly rate for the year.
There was a slight increase in the total number of jobs in Wisconsin’s nonfarm wage and salary sector, from 2,721,000 in January to 2,731,200 in February. The February 2002 figure was 2,717,800. The goods producing industries, which are dominated by manufacturing continued to lose jobs, however. The February figure was 622,300 compared to 629,100 in January and 635,100 in February of 2002. Manufacturing was down 3,800 jobs since January and 9,400 jobs from one-year ago. Construction also dropped in February, a result of a substantial decrease in heavy construction.
Professional and business services increased by 1,600 over January figures and by 6,300 over February 2002 figures. Much of the increase was in administrative support services. The health care sector also reported strong growth over last year’s February total employment, 261,500 for February 2003 compared to 254,800 in February 2002. Other services, excluding government services, also saw a substantial increase from February 2002.
The government sector, after a slight decrease reported for January, was up in February. January government figures are substantially lower, as school employment figures – both local and state schools – are down for the normal holiday season. The increase from last year’s February figure was 2,800. Federal government employment in Wisconsin was down 800, state government employment was up 700 and local government employment was up 2,900.
February employment and unemployment figures for individual counties should be available on March 26. This release also is available at www.dwd.state.wi.us/lmi.
|Division of Administrative Services |
Content Contact: Terry Ludeman